The Microsoft and Intel relationship, also known as Wintel, may once have been a great marriage, but the combination is now showing its age. During the past few weeks, Wall Street and others have asked whether it is time for Steve Ballmer to leave Microsoft. In addition, Apple and Google are challenging the once invincible duo with better operating systems and hardware for tablets that Microsoft failed to adopt in the beginning. Another issue that Microsoft is facing is its past history of operating systems that, in my opinion, will continue to haunt the company. Here is my take on how previous operating systems were accepted by the public.

Windows 3.11 was good, but Windows 95 was problematic. It wasn’t until Windows 98 2nd edition that Microsoft finally got it right. ME and Windows 2000 were mediocre and it wasn’t until Windows XP that consumers finally found relief in having a good OS. Microsoft released Vista, which in my opinion was a semi-train wreck. The company finally came out with Windows 7 that, again, provided relief from a flawed operating system.

Contrary to what the Microsoft representatives are presenting to us, Windows 8 may already be doomed. Not on the desktop or laptop systems, but for tablets. Apple has such a dominant lead that other tablet companies using Android or even Windows have already cut back on the number of units they will producing. Lackluster sales for these non-Apple tablets demonstrates the dominance that Apple has in the tablet marketplace.

Another of the flawed concepts is that Microsoft seems to believe that Windows 8, with a complete file system, is needed or even wanted by consumers. The company has failed to watch what Apple did by not porting Mac OS X. Instead, Apple introduced iOS designed specifically for touch screens. As a result, Apple is extremely successful with its iPad. The failure of other companies such as Intel and Microsoft to predict the overwhelming consumer response to the Apple iPad will come back to haunt both Microsoft and Intel for the next decade.

Microsoft Windows 8, powered by the processing power of processors from either Intel or AMD, will continue its dominance on the desktop and laptop personal computers. But in the tablet arena, Apple and Google will be the two dominant forces. I also believe that both Apple and Google will dominate the smart phone business.

The party is in full swing and Microsoft is still waiting for an invitation.

Comments welcome.